6 Days ’til Christmas

19 Dec

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. Luke 1:30,31

I’ve read several times just recently, that the most common command in the Bible is “Fear not.”  Fear not as a simple command can be VERY difficult to follow, but God tends to back up his “fear nots” with reasons and/or endearments.  This is not a finger-pointing God shouting at us to grow up and stop fearing; this is an encouraging God who wants us to learn to trust Him

In this case, the reason given for Mary not to fear is that she had found favor with God.

Favour, or charin, means grace.  Charis  is a very ancient and common word with a variety of applied meanings. They all come from the notion of sweetness, charm, loveliness, joy, delight, like words of grace, Luke 4:22, growing grace, Eph 4:29, with grace, Col 4:6. The notion of kindness is in it also, especially of God toward men as here. It is a favourite word for Christianity, the Gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24) in contrast with law or works (John 1:16). Gratitude is expressed also (Luke 6:32), especially to God (Rom 6:17).(from Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament)

This favor involved becoming pregnant out of wedlock (with the possible penalty of being stoned to death), the possibility of being misunderstood by her fiancée, family, friends, and townspeople, and at the end to watch her son be crucified.  Mary did not understand all of this at the moment of the proclamation, but she understood some of it and still rejoiced.  Sometimes we are favored by God in ways we don’t understand, but our job is to believe and receive and rejoice as Mary did, trusting that God has our deepest welfare in mind.

Jesus means “the Lord is my salvation” which is the ultimate welfare.

Selah. Stop and think about that for a minute.

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